undersea fiber optic cables fact sheet

Threats from Below: Undersea Fiber-Optic Cable Criticality

Release Date: March 27, 2019
Author(s): Topic:
Publication Type: Fact Sheet


Maritime cyber security threats are on the rise. Most of the attention on maritime security vulnerability is devoted to the maritime transportation system, which includes maritime vessels and ports.  An often-neglected aspect of the maritime domain concerns the vulnerability of arguably the most important maritime critical infrastructure, undersea fiber-optic communication cables.

Key Findings:

Cheaper than using satellites, undersea communication cables are responsible for 97 percent of global data flows. Concerningly, the integrity of this vital global communication super-highway is significantly at risk from accidental and malicious compromise. Current approaches to ensure the integrity of this infrastructure are inadequate.  This fact sheet sets out just how important this critical infrastructure is to the functioning of the global economy, the risks facing this infrastructure, as well as necessary steps to mitigate risk.

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